Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friends...

A friend recently sent this to me and I found it quite beautiful, so I am now sharing it with you...

“Old friends” and “true friends” are not necessarily identical. Old friends have stood the test of time; true friends are timeless. True friends may have been in your life since your childhood or they may have shown up only yesterday, but it’s from the quality of the heart that you know them, not the number of years you’ve logged together.

Most friendships are situational, though we don’t like to admit it. They spring up in the ground of common interests and/or common circumstances. Within these enclaves, we may feel closer to some folks than to others. But as our circumstances change or our life’s journey takes us in separate directions, the common ground begins to fade, and maintaining the connection takes more and more energy — sometimes, just too much energy! That’s nothing to beat yourself up about: situational friendships aren’t “fake,” they’re just “not forever.”

Sometimes it’s not only okay but downright healthy to move on. While this can be painful, as all loss of intimacy is, it becomes psychologically corrosive only when you also have to fight your expectation that it shouldn’t be this way. Nobody has failed; it’s just life doing its thing.

Still, true friends do exist, miraculously hidden amongst all the situational flux. How do you recognize them? Usually they reveal themselves only after the situation itself has changed. And the results can be surprising: sometimes the people who remain in your life and the ones who fall out are not at all what you would have predicted! But these “friends forever,” however they play out in your particular life situation, always seem to share three characteristics: (1) They have a capacity to grow with you (and you with them) through life’s changing circumstances; 2) They are low-maintenance, rarely-to-never imposing themselves or laying expectations on you; and 3) contact with them, when it comes, is never a duty, but always a gift “heart to heart.” Such friends—always a rare and special breed — have an uncanny knack for being able to stay in tune with you emotionally over huge gaps of time and space. Maybe you don’t hear from them for three years — or thirty — but then the phone rings and there they are again, and it’s like picking up as if you never left off.

We can’t command the heart, of course. We can’t pre-screen our friends for potential “forever” status, or impose this expectation as a unilateral requirement. But paradoxically, perhaps, the best way to help all our friendships grow wisely and well is to take responsibility for our own aloneness.

No friendship can long survive under coercion and demand. If we seek friends because they “feed us,” or hide us from our loneliness or boredom or fear; if we expect them to “be there for us” because we don’t know how to be there for ourselves, then this kind of neediness is eventually going to translate into demand and duty, and on these rocks many friendships falter. The relationship becomes just too fraught with expectations, hidden agendas, and disappointments, and eventually the barrel runs dry. Whenever either party begins to feel, “This friendship is draining me,” it’s a pretty sure tip-off that an iceberg of hidden expectation is lurking beneath the surface — in which both parties, alas, are partially complicit. The more we can take responsibility for our own emotional well-being, the more we can live comfortably in our own skin, the more friendship can become what it is truly meant to be — whether for the whole of our life or just the miracle of the present: the spontaneous overflowing of our uniquely human capacity for intimacy, compassion, and joy."

By: Cynthia Bourgeault

Love K

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life...and what it doesn't do...

Love K

Memories of Jeju...

Haenyo divers brave the dangers of the deep

Image
Written by: Hannah SungSpecial to the Star: http://www.thestar.com/travel/asiapacific/article/766953--haenyo-divers-brave-the-dangers-of-the-deep
"For centuries the haenyo divers of Jeju Island have braved the dangers of the deep in a daily struggle to support their families..."

Seongsan, Korea–There's a feeding frenzy happening but it's on land, not in the water.

"Receive the money! Receive the money!" a woman in a wetsuit yells as she squats, decisively placing a glistening sea cucumber onto a wooden chopping block on the ground.

Brown, lumpy, exposed, it ejects a limp spray of water from one end for a brief moment before it is rendered into a neat row of round slices, the oozing coral and brown innards neatly whisked away with the flick of a large knife.

Another woman in a wetsuit receives a wad of cash, as the first woman vociferously suggested, taking it from a man waving bills in her general direction.

Tourists have crowded along a row of aquariums that hold sea creatures yanked from the ocean mere moments ago.

There's a raw lunch to be had. The eaters and about-to-be-eaten are having their introductions made by a knife-wielding team of rowdy Korean women in wetsuits.

These women, ages ranging from the mid-50s and up, free dive for seafood in the waters around Jeju Island, off the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.

Haenyo, as they are called, can dive up to 20 metres deep and hold their breath for up to two minutes, using small metallic tools to loosen sea creatures from the sea, then placing them in floating nets.

On this mid-winter afternoon we are at Seongsan, a volcanic isthmus that forms a naturally protected cove of shallow water on black rock.

These women divers have just given an early-afternoon demonstration of their livelihood.

A narrator with a microphone began with a welcome greeting as the haenyo stood on the black volcanic beach for a gathering cluster of winter holiday tourists.

We gazed curiously at these five aging women in wetsuits and weighted belts.

Once introduced, the haenyo began to sing a spirit-bolstering song, to ward off the doubts and dangers of a wintry sea.

Holding nets with drum-shaped styrofoam floats attached, the haenyo began singing in a plaintive, slow tempo.

They rocked to the beat of their dirge, marking time with the watermelon-size float each held with both hands, their call and response marked by the tremulous vibrato of traditional Korean song.

With each passing verse, their singing picked up speed, becoming downright raucous with Korean chutzpah.

A few whoops and cackles accentuated their singing, their salty, wrinkly expressions breaking into wry grins.

As the spirited lead haenyo was about to hurl herself into launching a new verse, the staid announcer grabbed the mic away, a not-so-discreet message: Less singing, more swimming.

At this, the ladies shuffled off towards the water's edge like a mischievous gang of girls who have been chastised by their team coach to go out and do what they do best.

To picture the aquatic movements of haenyo, one needs to dispel any images of sirens or mermaids or Darryl Hannah in Splash.

These women are foraging to give life to themselves, their families and their community, as did their predecessors for centuries.

It isn't about romantic notions of water nymphs and pretty, feminine swimming.

There's a job to do, and the haenyo lean into it with aplomb, gently lowering themselves into the water and kicking, frog-leg, away from the shore.

They are as comfortable farming the ocean floor as they are in a field on land.

Being image-conscious doesn't factor in to it.

After 15 minutes in the water, Oh Hyun Soo, 56, emerges with a squid.

The kids on the shore gasp and squeal.

After a brief, shy moment, but egged on by their parents, one by one the kids stand next to Oh, the moment, and the squid, captured on cellphone cameras.

"Hurry to get a photo, you have to hurry!" Oh calls out, splaying the squid mid-air for photo ops.

"This is 30,000 won," she says, which is the equivalent of about $30.

"But because I caught this just for you, you can have it for 25,000!" Oh announces the price of her squid to all of us and no one in particular.

Which is how we come to find ourselves gathered around Oh and her colleagues, after the other haenyo emerge with varying hauls including kelp and abalone and sea cucumber, trading Korean cash for fresh, raw seafood with a side of red, hot pepper paste and a green bottle of soju, clear Korean liquor.

For centuries, or millennia, according to some historians, haenyo have been plucking their way of living from the sea, one fistful of food at a time. While haenyo have been known to work the costs of mainland Korea and Japan, too, it originated in Jeju Island, with shamanic rituals specific to this ancient practice and an island culture rich with mythology.

Today, there are about 5,000 practising haenyo on Jeju Island, their numbers are dwindling. In the 1950s, there were approximately 30,000. The average age of a haenyo now hovers in the 50s, with some still diving well into their 80s. In the past, girls learned to dive starting at the age of 6 or 7. Today, there are only two known haenyo under the age of 30. To preserve the diving tradition, Jeju Island has begun treating haenyo as heroes.

The Haenyo Museum opened to the public in 2006. It is devoted to their craft and their role in resisting Japanese occupation during the first half of the 20th century. Their hardy, far-flung missions, as far as Vladivostock, Russia, are well-documented. There is also a school for haenyo training, a 17-week course that is free to locals and foreigners.

Regardless of these efforts, the aging haenyo population is history in the making, as young local women now have a myriad of options in modern-day Korea.

Even on this mainly agrarian and sleepy island off the southern coast of the mainland, job options for women are wide enough that they generally don't include long diving excursions, breaking through the surface with prizes that garner only $10 or $20 or $30 each.

But for the women who have been doing it for a lifetime, it is a way of life.

I ask Oh whether she has daughters. She does. They decided to not become haenyo.

I ask whether it was due to their mother's wishes.

Oh respectfully demurs and says they made their own choices in life. I change the topic by gesturing to the array of sea creatures in the tanks, items she plucked from the sea floor.

"What is your favourite food?" I ask.

"Vegetables," she promptly replies. And laughs.

Hannah Sung is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Her trip was subsidized by Jeju Tourism.

Love K

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friendship...

This is dedicated to all the wonderful people that have enriched my life and made it ever-more fabulous...Thank you!
Love K

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Forgiveness...

I thought this sentiment was really beautiful and wanted to share it with all of you who read my blog. Enjoy...
Love K

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lord Byron's beautiful "Darkness"...

Love K
*photo taken from: http://cyanatrendland.com/?utm_source=TrendLand+List&utm_campaign=1fd9e70857-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Love Day to you all...

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
-St. Augustine
"I'll follow you and make a heaven out of hell,
and I'll die by your hand which I love so well..."
-William Shakespeare
Love K

Friday, February 12, 2010

Alexander McQueen Remembered...

LONDON, United Kingdom — One of the first fashion shows I ever attended was the Alexander McQueen show for Spring/Summer 2007, staged in the round at the Cirque D’Hiver in Paris. At the time, Jonathan Akeroyd, the affable CEO of McQueen, was kind enough to grant my cheeky request for an invitation, and he even let me bring along my college roommate, who was studying outside Paris at the time.

We were seated in the very last row way up in the rafters of the massive round theatre, but still we were mesmerised by McQueen’s collection and his spectacular presentation. Afterwards, we stepped out into the pouring rain late on a Friday night during Paris Fashion Week with a sense of awe and wonderment that lingered for the rest of the evening.

This, I think, is what made Mr. McQueen different. Unlike some of the other celebrated designers of our industry, Mr. McQueen’s message and vision was one that resonated far beyond fashion insiders. Over time, he seemed to find a way to connect with the masses, while still being extremely creative. He didn’t dumb things down or sacrifice his creativity, but he also did not fall into the trap of remaining too conceptual to have a wide-scale impact. Perhaps his clothes weren’t always wearable, but they still managed to connect with average consumers visually.

At the same time, McQueen’s recent collections were often a commentary on contemporary subjects. When the economy crashed, he mocked the entire luxury industry and the collections of iconic houses like Dior and Chanel, and even his own. Last season’s prescient technological extravaganza was the seminal moment of a fashion week season when the industry finally began to take digital media seriously. Mr McQueen combined digital media with his natural flair for showmanship and a little bit of that phenom known as Lady Gaga.

Lee McQueen was also one of the very first designers to take to Twitter and share his thoughts directly with his fans. Twitter is also where McQueen expressed his final messages to the world, following the death of his mother Joyce earlier this month. For now, the @McQueenworld page has been removed from Twitter, but it is still available in Google cache.

But the question on my mind is whether Alexander McQueen the label can continue without Alexander McQueen the man. Once the shock has worn off and the fashion industry has given McQueen a fitting send off, Gucci Group will have to grapple with the fact that the eponymous designer is no longer here. It is one thing to switch around designers at houses with a long history and well-defined codes. But, even with teh designer’s prolific output, Alexander McQueen is still a young brand. How Gucci Group deals with the issue of succession and continuing this business is perhaps one of the biggest challenges yet to face Robert Polet.

In the meantime, the rest of us will hold on to our McQueen memories, which fashion folk were exchanging yesterday in between shows. A fitting tribute to the man whose name was on everyone lips and in everyone’s thoughts, even with New York Fashion Week circus going on.

Just before Christmas I walked into an elevator at London’s Shoreditch House and was briefly introduced to a robust and positive Lee McQueen on the way up to the 6th floor. He was in good spirits, and commented that he liked my friend’s drop crotch trousers. And then, in an instant, he was gone.

Imran Amed is Founder and Editor of The Business of Fashion

*Article from: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2010/02/bidding-farewell-to-alexander-mcqueen.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BusinessOfFashion+%28The+Business+of+Fashion%29

Love K

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You have got to be kidding me!

Yes folks, this is real, not a joke...Although I highly respect Marc Jacobs and adore his creativity, even I must interject here and say.... WHAT??? To be honest, I think there are better ways to spend $1,900 than on a designer garbage bag...I mean, common! Here is an exert from Trendland.com which I found amusing:
"Well, well, well, look who has taken hobo chic to a whole new level. Marc Jacobs is really pushing the boundaries between street and high fashion. The utilitarian Louis VuittonRaindrop Besace” purse retails for a sweet $1,960. The bag abandons the usual luxury wingdings for a more-tasteful French inscription. It comes in green and brown, with a leather handle, and it’s waterproof, hence the raindrop name. What more could you want for the cost of a month’s rent."



Love K
*text and photos from: http://cyanatrendland.com/2010/02/08/louis-vuitton-raindrop-besace-trash-bag/?utm_source=TrendLand+List&utm_campaign=1e81a90ad6-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

Monday, February 8, 2010

Anthropologie goodness...


I admit, have a complete love affair with Anthropologie...alas it's one of those forbidden loves-mostly because I can barely afford anything from the store, but also because there are no locations here in Ottawa...sigh...However, that is not going to stop me from longingly browsing (okay stalking) the website in search of inspiration. And this is precisely why I have included the gorgeous images (below) from their latest spread. I absolutely love the desert circus theme, especially because it almost makes me forget the cold and dreary outdoors. Enjoy...
Love K
*photos from: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/index.jsp*

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Winter Fashion Fun...

Layers and handbags and wool...OH MY! Here are some awesome collages from whowhatwear.com. If you are like me, and slowly but surely getting sick of snow and ice and wind and cold, you will most definitely appreciate these images :-) Enjoy...

Love K

Monday, February 1, 2010

Foucault on the brain...


"The nature of things, their co-existance, the way in which they are linked together and communicate is nothing other than their resemblance. And that resemblance is visible only in the network of signs that crosses the world from one end to the other..."
-Foucault on 16th century "knowledge" and world perception
Love K

Blog Widget by LinkWithin